Hopefully my last post convinced you that blogging is great for business. But coming up with blog post ideas that resonate with readers can be tricky.
Feeling uninspired? Fear not, as I’m about to share share four simple things you can do to get those fresh ideas flowing.
1. Ask your audience
Asking current and potential customers about their interests is a great way to spark ideas for blog posts. There are several ways to do this.
- Talk to your customers directly, either by phone, by email or in person. Find out what questions they’re asking, what they want to know about your products or services and what problems they’re struggling with.
- Search for relevant topics on social media to discover what your target audience needs help with.
- Create a survey that you can share via your social media channels and your email list if you have one. Keep it concise though and consider including multiple choice questions.
- Hop onto AnswerThePublic, enter a keyword phrase and you’ll receive a multitude of topical questions that people are asking online.
2. Make the most of Google
To put my second tip into practice, you’ll need to choose a broad topic that you’d like to blog about. Once you’ve decided on a topic, start typing it into the Google search box and you’ll see a list of search term predictions appearing. These are phrases that people are actually searching for.
Here’s an example. Imagine that you run a cake making business and you’re keen to showcase your expertise by sharing your best baking tips. To come up with some great blog post ideas, all you need to do is to begin typing “cake baking tips” into the Google search box. As you do this, relevant search term predictions related to “cake baking tips” will start to appear below the search box.
As you can see in the screenshot, Google’s suggestions currently include “baking tips for beginners”, “baking tips for cakes”, “Baking tips 101″ and “baking tips for cupcakes.”
Once you’ve finished typing and you’ve clicked on the search icon, Google will reveal a variety of articles, questions, blog posts, videos and adverts that are related to your topic. Note down any useful ideas, then scroll to the bottom of the page to see more related searches.
There’s no point in writing a brilliant blog post if nobody reads it, which is why I recommend doing some basic keyword research while you’re generating ideas. Base your posts on keywords that your target audience are using, and your content will rank well on search engines results pages.
There are plenty of keyword research tools available, but I recommend starting with Ubersuggest, as it’s pretty straightforward to use and their free searches provide plenty of useful information.
Once you’ve signed up, enter your main keyword phrase (for example, “baking tips”) and you’ll see an overview of your keyword including its monthly search volume, the competition it faces and the average cost per click you’ll pay to use it in an advert. A high CPC score generally indicates that a keyword is valuable.
Next, you’ll need to click on “keyword ideas” on the left sidebar, so that Ubersuggest can generate a list of related keyword phrases, as well as telling you how many people are searching for them. For example, if you enter “baking tips” right now, your related keywords will include phrases like “baking tips and tricks”, “baking tips for cakes”, “baking bread tips” and “baking tips for beginners”.
Now it’s time for a little detective work. Examine your list of related keywords phrases and look for high volume phrases that aren’t overly competitive. Phrases that have low SEO Difficulty (SD) will face less competition in organic search, so it’s a good idea to opt for keywords that score below 30. Once you’ve found some keyword phrases that fit the bill, you can use them to inspire your blog posts.
4. Be inspired by others
If you’ve never checked out your competitors’ blog posts, now’s the time to do it. I’d never recommend copying, but it’s worth keeping an eye on competing content to see what’s working well in terms of general engagement, customer conversations and social shares.
If you spot something you like, don’t be afraid to tackle the same topic, but make sure that you put your own stamp on it. Try approaching it from a different angle, creating a more in depth version or including a different kind of content.
Here are a few ideas that could make you blog posts enjoyable for readers:
- Create a colourful checklist
- Add GIFS to your post
- Write a detailed how-to guide with screenshots
- Share the story behind your business
- Offer a sneak peek behind the scenes
- Embed an informative video
- Curate a collection (e.g. 5 artisan loaves you’ll love)
- Create a themed blog post linked to an awareness day
- Share a success
- Create an infographic
- Create a visual A-Z of gift ideas
- Add a guest post
- Interview a member of your team
That’s it for today, lovely readers. However, I do have one final tip.
Inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient of times, so I suggest that you keep track of your blog post ideas by recording them in a notepad or on your phone. You’ll soon have an impressive library of ideas to choose from.
Let me know how you get on!